Congratulations on taking the first steps toward becoming a gym operator! We’re here to help you along as you start down this thrilling career path.
First thing’s first – where will your gym be located? Take your time and plan strategically when researching a location; this is one major decision that can make or break the future of your gym. Read on for five factors to take into consideration when you’re starting to plan your fitness facility’s location.
We’re not talking about pricing your gym memberships just yet. Your first step should be to take a look at how much money you have to actually get your gym up and running.
The amount of money in your budget for purchasing gym property will have a significant impact on where you can have your gym. Do you have enough money to purchase an empty lot and construct your facility from the bottom up? Or will you be leasing and/or renovating an existing property to fit your new gym? Loans and leases may be right for your financial situation. And remember – it’s always good to over-estimate costs, rather than coming up short in the money department.
Demographics of the Neighborhood
You don’t want to make the mistake of having a gym that is too expensive for any of the surrounding community members to use, or one that doesn’t appeal to them.
Many gym members belong to a facility that is located near where they live. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to place your facility in a neighborhood or part of town that matches the kind of members you hope to attract. For example, are you looking to attract a younger crowd keen on living a fit lifestyle? Perhaps middle-aged parents with children? Or how about older, retired people looking to add some gentle fitness into their days?
Besides age, another important demographic to look into is the general income of the neighborhood. Affluent neighborhoods often don’t mind paying a higher price for a quality gym membership, while less-wealthy neighborhoods are more interested in budget-friendly fitness options.
For optimal usage, you need to ensure that your facility is easily accessible.
This important factor goes hand-in-hand with the demographics of the neighborhood you’re considering for your fitness facility. Are people in the neighborhood going to be more likely to drive to your gym before or after work? This means you’ll need a parking lot with a convenient point of entry and ample parking spaces. Or is the possible facility going to be located in a busy part of the city where surrounding apartment dwellers will be walking or biking over for a gym session?
This factor seems like common sense, but it can often be overlooked. Do thorough research on the other fitness facilities in the area you’re considering for your gym. Be sure to include niche facilities such as yoga or group bootcamp studios into the research mix, along with larger-scale gyms, as they all present valid competition for your target member base.
Obviously, you want to do your best to avoid having your gym situated near a main competitor. But when it comes to some of those smaller fitness studios, delve into the demographical specifics of their client base and determine whether you truly think they will provide too much competition for your gym.
Take Advantage of Resources
Last but not least, seek help from experienced fitness operators who’ve started up a gym or two (or more) in their lifetime. If you are becoming a franchisee, it’s likely that the gym you’re franchising has provided you with people you can reach out to and ask questions or garner some feedback from, so be sure to fully use those resources instead of jumping right in to your new project.
Another great source of knowledge is the internet, of course. Forums and Q&A sessions with gym managers are abundant online; they can shed some light onto topics that you may never even think about when it comes to choosing your gym’s location and opening it. You can also check out the other posts in the “commercial fitness” section for more resources on running your gym.
Once you have narrowed down a facility location, it’s up to you to go to work on acquiring it. Opening a gym is a long – and sometimes tricky – process, but with some serious planning, it can be done very well. If ever you get discouraged while figuring out your new fitness facility, just think of how it will positively shape the lives of the community around it.
Find out who your potential competitors are in your area. Contact Precor sales today: